Friends of man killed by Sask. RCMP in Montreal Lake Cree Nation call for justice

·2 min read
Dillon McDonald, 28, was shot and killed by Saskatchewan RCMP officers in Montreal Lake Cree Nation on Tuesday night, his family has confirmed with CBC News. (Submitted by Chantel McDonald - image credit)
Dillon McDonald, 28, was shot and killed by Saskatchewan RCMP officers in Montreal Lake Cree Nation on Tuesday night, his family has confirmed with CBC News. (Submitted by Chantel McDonald - image credit)

WARNING: This story contains details of a police shooting.

Dillon McDonald is being remembered by many as a quietly kind man — a person everyone knew they had as a go-to.

"He wouldn't ever say, 'Hey, I'm here if you need me' — but you know that if you were to ask him, 'I'm broke and I need $20,' he'd be like, 'No problem, I've got you,'" explained Samarra Primeau, a longtime friend.

"He was always the sweetest guy out of the bunch."

The family of McDonald, 28, has confirmed with CBC News that he was the man shot and killed by Saskatchewan RCMP officers Tuesday night in Montreal Lake Cree Nation, roughly 100 kilometres north of Prince Albert.

In a news release the next day, Mounties said they were called to the community after a report a man had chased someone out of a house with a gun.

About five hours later, RCMP said the man came out of the house holding a gun and was shot by officers.

Police said he was pronounced dead roughly an hour later, while en route to hospital.

The Saskatoon Police Service is now conducting an external investigation into the death, with oversight from an independent observer appointed by the province's Ministry of Justice.

Shooting live streamed

Kendra McDermott, a family friend of McDonald's who lives three doors down from the home where the incident took place, live streamed the shooting on social media.

"I thought, 'I have to go live. This is too much [police] presence — what if something goes wrong and no one sees it?'" she said.

In the video, smoke is seen billowing out of the house as pops of what appear to be tear gas go off inside. Roughly 20 seconds later, after some swearing, three gunshots are heard.

McDermott said she went into shock.

"[Police] traumatized the community," she said, noting dozens of officers lined her street that night — many of them in tactical gear.

"He didn't have to go that way at all. There was not a need for any of that."

Watching the live stream that night from her home in Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, Primeau said she also went numb.

"I did not expect that to happen," she said. "It just broke my heart."

A life of heartache

Primeau said McDonald went through a lot of grief throughout his life, noting he lost his mother as a child, his older sister a few years ago and his older brother just last month.

Submitted by Samarra Primeau
Submitted by Samarra Primeau

Primeau said McDonald struggled with mental health issues and often had run-ins with the law, but says he didn't deserve to die.

"They didn't even give him a chance," she said.

McDermott agreed.

"I couldn't see him hurting anybody," she added. "It's sick and I hope he gets justice — his family deserves it."

Submitted by Samarra Primeau
Submitted by Samarra Primeau
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